If you are in the process of buying property here in Rocky Point, then you will hear the term Notario who is the Mexican lawyer responsible for closing your transaction however many foreigners confuse United States’ notary publics with Mexican Notario Público. This article will discuss the importance and difference between a Mexican Notaría Pública versus American notaries.

In Mexico, the incorporation of every company, buying and selling of all real estate, the establishment of deeds and wills must be protocolized by a Notario Público. A Notario Público is an experienced lawyer who is selected and appointed by the Governor of a Mexican state after practicing law, completing a rigorous application process, and passing a stringent exam while meeting all qualifications established by the government.

In the United States, a notary public is a person appointed by a state government whose primary role is to serve the public as an impartial witness when important documents are signed. For typically a $75 fee, almost anybody can become a notary public and you can apply online for certification.

In Mexico, a Notario has a great deal of responsibility as all real estate transactions are registered with the Notario. They are legally responsible to ensure the deed title is clear and recorded at the Public Registry. They are also responsible for calculating capital gains tax for the seller and can face civil and criminal liability for any mistakes.

In a real estate transaction here in Mexico a Notarios’ services are paid for by the buyer and can range from $1,200-$1500 USD depending on the office handling the transaction. Even though a Notario Público is an attorney they are not there to give you advice or serve as your counsel they are there to solely process the transfer of title and record the real estate transaction. If you need advice or counsel, it is recommended that you hire a personal attorney to assist you with these matters.

There needs to be one Notarío Público appointed for every 30,000 residents. In Puerto Peñasco we have three offices appointed by the governor to serve and those offices are Notario Público 76, Notario Público 29 and Notario Público 42.

If you are a foreigner purchasing property in Mexico, your real estate advisor will assign a closing coordinator to your transaction who will be responsible for choosing the Notario Público office that will close your transaction. The closing coordinator is responsible for gathering the necessary documents and information required by the Notaría Pública to process your transaction.

Now you understand the difference between a Notario Público in Mexico and a Notary Public in the United States. If you need any guidance or advice on purchasing real estate in Puerto Peñasco always choose and work with an AMPI-certified real estate advisor.

About the author: Joseph Sanchez is president of Rocky Point Home Builders a design/build contractor specializing in custom home design, construction and engineered renovations, and a real estate agent with RE/MAX Legacy specializing in the sale of new home developments. He resides here in Puerto Peñasco with his wife and three children and is originally from Chicago. For more information email him at sales@rockypointhomebuilders.com.